So I've got this rust thing... (1 Viewer)

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Always liked the looks of the 80 series LC's. Never had the $$ when they ran 35-40K, but finally we both got older and I could get one. Really didn't have any idea what I was doing, and didn't spend enough time reading up on it before I jumped in with both feet. Wanted a black LC, ended up getting a white LX (how'd THAT happen?).

Bought my '97 LX from a guy up near St. Paul recently. Literally threw up a last minute bid on fleabay based on what they were selling for around here, and somehow won the thing. Night of the Superbowl, and I think I was as surprised at what I'd bought as my wife was.

Never heard of this "rust belt" notion, so imagine my surprise when I get it in and the underside has significant rust.

I'm not so worried about that underside stuff, but I found rust in 3 places on the body so far:
1) on the bottom of the frame where you open the DS door (spots),

2) center top of the front windshield (50 cent piece size that is seen), and

3) on the rear window just left of center (same size as #2).

Both 2 and 3 are the "bubbling up" look, but I've seen enough threads that I have a healthy fear of what might be hiding on me.

Today I took it to a friend who owns a local body shop, and he says what I already know from reading on mud: prone to rust in those spots, front windshield likely to break when taking it out, PITA to seal so it doesn't leak on putting in front glass, and based on his experience I may end up replacing the back hatch entirely. He never gave me a $$ amount, but I got the distinct feeling this was gonna hurt.

The truck seems to be in good shape other than this. Paint is excellent, leather still good, interior clean and no water leaks. Engine seems solid at 160K, did the hydrocarbons test on the radiator to check for leaks and none showed. Had a dizzy o-ring leak but fixed it. All I've done is baseline fluids otherwise. Just got my silicone PHH in yesterday, sitting on my desk right now.

Question is, do I just put it up for sale and sell it, then take those funds and find a native Southern or SW truck with lockers and no rust, or do I bite the bullet and spend $$ on fixing the LX (which has no lockers and is stock)? I think I can sell it for what I paid for it, maybe even post a bit of a profit toward that elusive ARB bumper... I'm definitely not afraid to work on them, but I know without a doubt I don't have the skill set to fix this issue correctly. Hate to think of selling it right away, just don't want to spend a ton on an ongoing issue. What would y'all do?

Options? Opinions?
 

wngrog

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Rust issues will continue to surface over the life of your truck.

If you plan on modifying it and wheeling it a lot, you don't need to worry as much about the rust in my opinion.

If you can get your money out of it or even make money you might consider that, BUT they are all at least 14 years old now and finding one with low miles and great interior is a major plus.
 
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Is this your daily driver or a second vehicle?

daily driver fix it, I would only consider selling it if you had issues elsewhere. lIke motor leaks oil every where, tranny not shifting right.

the water leaks need to be fixed especially if stored outside.

If its a second vehicle wheel it till the rust falls off. then cut off the rusty parts and have even more fun. Come to the wrenching session this weekend to see an extreme example of rust removal
 
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It's now my DD but I still have my '05 F-150. No hardcore wheelin plans anyhow but wanna be able to play some in it every now and again.
 

Bossman

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If you're gonna wheel it I wouldn't worry too much about the rust. If your plan for this vehicle is to build it up and keep it nice then the rust would be a deal killer for me. Find a southern or western truck and go again. I'd rather deal with mechanical issues than rust any day.
 
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So, what's worst case scenario on these bolts I'm gonna work on for the OME kit? Break off the head? And be 3 hours from home? Should I order new hardware, or will that be a stocked item somewhere?
 
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What would y'all do?

Options? Opinions?
Some others have danced around what I would suggest is the central issue:

What do you want the truck to be? The better you answer that, the better opinions you will get.

I suggest a great way to help answer that question is to hang around all the trucks/folks in the club.

Me, I would probably dump it and start over because I hate working on rusty trucks no mater what the build, and working on trucks is a big piece for me.
 
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Depends on the day
 
Some others have danced around what I would suggest is the central issue:

What do you want the truck to be? The better you answer that, the better opinions you will get.

I suggest a great way to help answer that question is to hang around all the trucks/folks in the club.

Me, I would probably dump it and start over because I hate working on rusty trucks no mater what the build, and working on trucks is a big piece for me.
X2....I have alot of rust on my 40 but have actually enjoyed....GASP....the painting, rust bullet, sanding, screaming, cussing process (ive learned alot more about the truck). At the end of the day unless you are Lenny or Jrob and have a welder and do lots of sheet metal work it's easier to do mechanical stuff than generate a new truck around a good motor/drive train.....ie body work.

Having said that..IF this is a wheeler truck....just treat the rust, don't worry so much about looks and get on with driving it...but you have to determine your needs/wants.
 

wngrog

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Deerman,

Do get the extra space to get the spring in without having to undo anything I do the following.

Jackstand the end of the truck you are working on.

Remove tires with one jack under the center of the axle. This is hard at times due to the offest diff, but get as close as you can.

Put an smaller jack under the corner you are going to work on. (do one corner at a time)

Pull shock bolts, top and bottom. Top rear is going to be your only issue with this truck. Worst case is come in from the top drilling a hole above the shock. Plan on killing the rear shocks when you remove them. Even non rusty trucks you have to kill the shocks.

Remove the sway bar bolt on that side.

Now lower jack on corner you are working on. I put mine right under the "hat" on the brake rotor. Remove old spring and then if the other one will not go in easily (usually on the front only will you have to do this) I will put a bottle jack between the frame and the axle and use it to get those last mm's needed to squeeze in the new springs.

Repeat on all 4 corners.

Final tip....OME springs are side/side specific.

There is an A and a B spring. One is for the DS and one for the PS. One is taller than the other when you take them out of the box. The taller (B) goes on the DS. (A) goes on the passenger side.

If the sticker is worn out on the used springs, just look real closely at the springs and you can tell the height difference.
 

fjfar80

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I have a few bubbles on my 80 - around the rear window. I am about to perform a rust exorcism and pop the window out...get rid of the rust and put in a new seal. A little bit of rust on the underside is just character...like axle character...but, when you put your heel through the floorboard...that is something else entirely. Bring your 80 by and we will see what we see...by the way I am downtown...so, if you see my completely stock 80...you will know where I am heading...

- Mark
 

fjfar80

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I thought about that...but, I am cheap...so, I figured I would try to fix it myself first and if that doesn't work...time for a new hatch. If I go the new hatch route...I will take that as an opportunity to strip the truck and repaint it...and have new Line-X sprayed on...the new stuff with the Kevlar...

- Mark
 

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